Located on what used to be called “Black Broadway”, the "Woodman of the Union" Building, as it was known until the 1940’s, played host to a Who’s Who of African American visitors to the Spa City. Entertainers and sports figures alike were among the many that enjoyed the facility which included a 75 room bath hotel and a 2,500 seat auditorium on the top floor. The auditorium featured such famous acts as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Cab Calloway.
Many of the 15 Negro League teams that played games in Hot Springs called this historic structure home. Those teams included all sixteen of the National Baseball Hall of Fame members who played in the Negro leagues. Those names include Roy Campanella, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, “Cool Papa” Bell, and Jackie Robinson.
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the dancing star of stage and screen, celebrated his 66th birthday in 1944 by dancing two miles from Park Avenue, up by The Arlington Hotel, to Malvern Avenue, by the National Baptist Hotel, with over 1,000 people following him all the way!